find a wife!

We're not kidding, thousands of lonely men come here every year looking for a new sweetheart and Thai ladies have become one of the country's biggest exports. Odious as it may seem to some, we recognise that many of you visiting this site are interested in Bangkok for that very reason. Thais can be beautiful people; gracious, elegant, well-mannered, fun-loving, caring and sweet. Hopefully we can help you find a long lasting partnership.

Well, we've see enough happy and unhappy endings to understand that an Occidental/Oriental match has a lot of potential for heartfelt joy, yet cultural misunderstandings and misplaced expectations often lead to all sorts of heartache, rip-offs and disillusionment.

And, we're not just talking here about foreign men with Thai girls; there are plenty of Western ladies we know of with Thai hubbies. But either way, it isn't always an ideal match and opposing cultural backgrounds lead to differing expectations from both sides. The biggest issue however is the gender inequality existing here, for this often creates hidden agendas.

As much as you may be lonely, divorced, over the hill, devoid of youthful looks, fed up with the attitude of the opposite sex in your country or whatever reason you come up with for being single, there are countless lonely Thai women (and some men) here who have reasons of their own to want a "mia farang" (foreign wife).

As a "financially empowered" Westerner, the cards are stacked in your favour, but you should also take the initiative to ensure that your partnership is a good one and guaranteed to last. Remember, most men end up taking their new wives back to their own country. It is far easier for a foreigner to assimilate into Thailand than it is for a Thai to fit in back in your hometown.

The lifestyles and cultural differences can be enormous and credit should be given to the many Thai wives abroad who have quietly put up with living there without the comfort of their fellow countrymen around them; Thais are very gregarious people who prefer communal living to privacy.

So, where you do start looking? Firstly, don't imagine you are going to find a potential wife in the bars and discos of the tourist areas. Most of the girls you meet here will likely be prostitutes, or at least out for financial gain. This is a service which is openly enjoyed here in Thailand and the justifications for the sex industry offer convincing arguments which we won't go into here. Your activities here are entirely up to you, as long as you don't imagine that the whole of Thailand is like Pattaya.

Many coming here have found success with the internet, and an increasing number of shy, decent, professional women are signing up to these services. Thais are web savvy and many engage in chat room discussions to meet foreign friends. However, nothing beats the real thing when meeting others, and internet dating agencies can be quite deceptive and disappointing.

By all means, make several acquaintances before coming but keep your expectations mooted, as people aren't always what they appear to be online. Perhaps set up several friends to meet and see what happens, but be sure not to raise each of the girl's expectations too much.

Then there are the dating agencies, which are numerous in Bangkok and can appear a little "sad". Shopping for a wife in a catalogue seems absurd, but yet many find this the most practical way of solving a problem in a short space of time. Be sensitive to the girls themselves who may at times feel like they're on a suspects parade. Many are desperately trying to find a way out of poverty and may even be escorted with their mothers. Others may be lonely professional women, it's difficult to tell, but the agencies are quite good at vetting their backgrounds.

Don't be foolish and imagine you can fall in love with and marry someone whose English isn't strong enough to express herself to you. Sure you can send her to school, but by the time she's fluent the whole relationship might be splitting at the seams.

We suggest you meet several people and see how things develop, ignoring the fact that the first girl you meet is likely to treat you like Romeo and make you feel like a million bucks. So will number two, three and four; Thai ladies are brilliant at this. Also remember, they are "choosy" too, and you should be respectful if they aren't interested in you.

A more realistic but tougher way to meet a suitable partner here is in everyday life. This requires patience. We know guys who met their sweetheart in malls, at the market, in restaurants, in the services industry (hotel receptionists, tour guides, etc) and even doing business. These are professional, regular girls who perhaps consider foreigners to be somewhat handsome but otherwise are simply minding their own business.

Just like liaisons in your own home country, this is natural and far more likely to be genuine. Thais are sometimes shy but usually willing to befriend foreign people. You would need to be respectful of them (perhaps they already have a boyfriend) and patient. For many white-collar workers, there is a stigma attached to dating a foreigner. However, in the long run this is the most rewarding.

By far, the group who have had the most success in finding a partner in Thailand are those who have come and lived here, taken the time to understand Thais and Thailand, learned the language and made inroads into social circles where they ultimately meet their perfect partner. If you can't afford to do this, then think of coming back several times; familiarise yourself with the place before taking the plunge with anyone.

Bangkok is full of happy cross-cultural relationships and families, of both genders, but it has required a great deal of effort and understanding from both parties. It isn't difficult to find a Thai girlfriend, but it is difficult to find understanding and harmony with your Thai partner.

Also, getting rid a Thai girlfriend or boyfriend is far more difficult than getting one; by their nature (conditioned by the social environment here), they can be possessive, jealous, violent, vindictive, and even take to stalking you and your friends, so choose someone who is going to be mostly happy with you and remember to be a decent partner yourself; it's easy to let your ego run away with you here in Thailand!

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